Something missing at festival

To the editor:

Do any of you remember the radio show “Let’s Pretend”? Well if you are around 70 you might remember it. For those of you who are too young or do not remember it, let me help you out.

“Let’s Pretend” was a radio program that told stories like “King Midas,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Jack and the Bean Stalk” and other fairy tales, all of which were well done. As a kid I could not wait for Saturday to come so I could listen to the tales.

There are modern day fairy tales almost as good as the ones told on “Let’s Pretend.” For example, ever go to an apple festival and find only one vendor selling apples that looked like they need to be thrown out? It seems that the only thing anyone can count on at these festivals is the vendors who are selling food or crafts made somewhere other than the United States at a very high price. Where have we gone wrong?

Well let me tell you where to go for your next adventure. Recently, I read an article in the Herald-Star about Latrobe, Pa., and the Great Banana Split Celebration. Now, if there is one item, be it food or anything, a banana split makes my heart skip a beat. Latrobe is about an 82-mile drive from my house, but for a banana split or two or three I could drive twice that far.

Saturday morning found my wife and I driving through Western Pennsylvania and daydreaming about the wonderful treat that waited for us at the end of what turned out to be a very nice trip. The countryside was beautiful and the day was dry and on the cool side. Now, remember, this is late August and the temperature could have been 95 with 90-plus humidity. It seemed the closer we got the more tissues I needed to wipe my chin. At the end of an almost two-hour trip we found a parking place at Main and Alexandria streets, about a two-block walk to the main area – not too bad.

Neither my wife nor I knew where we were going, but we figured it was no big deal – just go to where the people are. We found tents with children’s games, tents selling hot dogs and hamburgers, pizza, sausage and a big tent with tables. As you may have figured out, in this fairy tale no banana splits could be found. There was one place at one end of the big tent that did have ice cream and bananas everywhere but no banana splits. Just outside of this place I found a local working a booth and I said, “How can you have a ‘Banana Split Celebration’ without banana splits?”

He directed me to Valley Dairy, about a half mile from the activities. Off we went and at long last we got our banana split. Of course, this is not a fairy tale but it is right out of “Let’s Pretend.”

Richard Petrella